Simple, honest and personal work among the troops

Reading St John’s parishioners were very sorry to lose their vicar, Guy Rogers, to an army chaplaincy. They made sure he (and his housekeeper) got a good sendoff.

St John’s Hall was crowded by parishioners on Saturday evening, the 9th October, when a Presentation was made to the Vicar on his resignation of the Parish, and to Miss Homan.

595 subscriptions were received and the gifts were as follows:

An Illuminated Address:
To the Reverend Travers Guy Rogers, BD, Vicar of St John the Evangelist (with St Stephen’s), Reading.
You have been led under Divine Guidance to resign this benefice so that you might respond to the call to take up the special work of an Army Chaplain to the troops at the front.
We recognise in this a call from God to ourselves to make a sacrifice which costs us much…
Signed on behalf of the Subscribers
H. Reginald Sutton
Frank Winter

An Album containing the names of the Subscribers
Chaplain’s Uniform
A Pair of Field Glasses
A Purse containing a Cheque for £111
A Cheque for Miss Homan to purchase a Fur Coat or such other article as she may desire.

The Mayor presided and was supported on the platform by the Churchwardens and most of the Sidesmen and Members of the Church Board; and after he had spoken other speeches were made by Mr H. R. Sutton, Mr C. Pearce, Mr Fanstone and Mr F. Winter.

The Rev. T. Guy Rogers, who was wearing the uniform which had been presented to him, thanked them all most heartily for the very kind gifts they had presented to him and Miss Holman. The money would be a real help to him, because the income of a chaplain made no allowance for extras – indeed it was considerably less than the income he had enjoyed at home; and therefore the generosity they had shown in the matter relieved him of all financial anxiety for the time being. He was very glad too that they had presented him with his uniform, and that the Maltese cross was on it; for he loved to think that he was going, under the symbol of the Cross, to be an ambassador of Christ on their behalf. On the following Tuesday evening, all being well, he sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne, thence to make the best of his way to the headquarters of the British Army and report himself as one unit, and there he would receive his job. What his job would be, he had not the least idea; but it was his earnest hope to be allowed to do some simple, honest and personal work amongst the troops, trying to make them feel at any rate that in their chaplain they had a friend. He wanted to be a help to men who were going through so much for us, and to do something definite in the way of work for Christ.

Reading St John parish magazine, November 1915 (D/P172/28A/24)

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